News thoughts – it’s weird out there

Did you ever realize that the one-child policy that China has been strictly enforcing for the last 35 years means that the current generation has grown up without brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, or cousins?  When their parents die, there will be no relatives at the funeral.

Venezuela has been suffering from a severe shortage of toilet paper. Public upset turned to rage when a senior government official declared that the problem was people eating too much.  This comes at a time when Venezuelans are also suffering a shortage of many staple foods. That’s government for you!

America is publicly puzzled over the surge in suicides, up 30% in the last decade within the 35-64 age group (two thirds of the 85 gun-deaths per day in the US are suicides). I’ve read many of the mainstream stories and they all seem to be missing the elephant in the room: Most Americans over 30 are on medication, and the most commonly prescribed medications are anti-depressants.

It’s kicking off big-time in Turkey just now. It was triggered by a local tree-protecting incident but exploded into discontent over the increasingly authoritarian state. The Islamic party in power promised to be secular, but people doubt this after it mandated which shade of red is acceptable for airline hostesses, and required that images of glasses or bottled of alcohol be blurred out on TV or movies. Inside story here:  from Turkey.
Turn your wheelchair into an earner! Wealthy Americans now bring a special aid when visiting crowded Disney World. They rent out a cripple at the going rate of $130 an hour and thus their party jumps all the queues. As a wheelchair user myself, I rarely use the “C” word, but this abuse of a thoughtful privilege makes me fume.
The current benefits system in the UK has 51 different categories of payment, accompanied by 10,000 pages explaining how to use them. I wonder (not really) how effectively the new trimmed down and fully computerized system will fare.